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4.1.1. Missing MSDTC Issue

There is one common error that has been found with installations where Microsoft SQL Server was installed after IIS was installed. This typically affects only Windows XP Professional, but could occur in other situations. What happens is that the SQL Server installation inadvertently removes the Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (MSDTC) service from the system during the installation.

To determine if this is indeed the cause of the observed error, you need to click on Start > Settings > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Component Services:

Once the window has opened, expand the folders marked “Component Services”, “Computers”, “My Computer” and “COM+ Applications” in turn. If the window opens correctly and displays the information illustrated above, then your IIS 500 error is being caused by something else.

However if you receive an error message that indicates an inability to connect with the “Distributed Transaction Coordinator”, then you have to fix the MSDTC service to enable IIS and ASP.NET to operate properly.

To fix the issue, you need to make changes to the Windows System Registry (hereafter referred to as “the registry”). This is a process that should not be attempted by novice users, since any incorrect changes can complete wreck the Windows installation, requiring a complete reinstallation of the operating system.

To open the registry, click Start > Run, and type “Regedit.exe” into the dialog box, and the registry will open:

Expand the folders marked “My Computer”, “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE”, “SOFTWARE” and “Microsoft” in turn and navigate to the folder marked “MSDTC”. Click the <Delete> button on your keyboard, and click <OK> on the confirmation box. Now close the registry editor.

Now you need to click on Start >Settings > Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs and click on the tab marked “Add/Remove Windows Components”:

Don’t change any of the selected components, but instead simply click the <Next> button. The Windows installer will detect that the MSDTC is missing (due to the registry change you made) and will now reinstall it correctly. Once this has finished, reboot the system and you should now be able to access ASP and ASP.NET applications from within IIS.